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Cheap Vacation Packages!

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If you think all travel booking sites are the same, and they offer indistinguishable packages at identical prices — think again. While many of them appear similar and offer comparable deals, they each have subtle differences that provide benefits. Which one is right for you will largely depend on the type of travel you’re trying to book and your flexibility.

One of the best ways to save money, time, and hassle when booking a getaway is to opt for an all-inclusive bundle. These can include a combination of hotel, flights, and car rentals, and sometimes even attraction entrance passes. For this type of package, there are certain sites and stores that are guaranteed to present you with some great bargains. Here are five sites to book cheaper travel packages.

1. Costco

Costco isn’t just a chain of warehouses where people load up on wholesale goods at bargain prices. They also have an in-house travel agency called Costco Travel that you can use to find deals on cruises, hotel stays, rental cars, and also full vacation packages. They use the buying power accrued from being one of the largest retailers in the world to negotiate big savings on vacations for their customers.

As with their stores, you have to be a member to access Costco’s travel deals. A standard yearly membership is $60. However, you’re still able to search without being a member, so you can check out the deals before committing. An added benefit of Costco packages is that many come with complimentary amenities that can range from credit to be redeemed at the resort to multiday attraction passes, so you’re getting even more bang for your buck.

2. Expedia

While you can book flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and activities individually on Expedia, you can really score good deals on this site with travel packages. They have a specific option to “Bundle and Save” that allows you to bundle bookings for any combination of flights, hotels, and car rentals. Not only does this save you the time and hassle of having to organize all of these elements separately, it also enables you to save money.

The interface is really user-friendly, and rather than offering preset bundles, it allows you to build your own package with numerous options at each stage. They also have a selection of what they call “Unreal Deals” that are usually exceptional value packages where you might get the cost of your airfare covered completely from the savings. At each stage of the process, you can see exactly what the price is and the savings you’re getting from bundling your package together.

3. Travelocity

At first glance, you might think Travelocity is remarkably similar to Expedia, with the search box on the front page looking almost identical. And you’d be absolutely right, as they’re both owned by the Expedia Group; so the interface, look, and feel of the two sites is almost indistinguishable. However, they’re actually run independently, which still allows and even encourages them to compete with each other.

The upshot of this is that while the search functions, the focus on bundled packages, and even the deals may be very similar, the prices might not be. Each company has access to the same metadata as the basis of their deals, but they negotiate with the partners separately, so it pays to use Expedia and Travelocity in conjunction when searching to see which has the best price for the specific package you’re looking for.

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